Meghalaya villages seek merger with Assam

SHILLONG, Oct 15 – Seeing the developmental initiatives undertaken in Assam side, the Meghalaya residents of Sawlad, Nonrilong, Umsha, Umsohiong, Patharsiphiah and Bilkolang villages located in the Assam-Meghalaya border have openly displayed their desire to merge with Assam in order to benefit from the different development programmes.

An embarrased Meghalaya Government has asked its top officials as well as the Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi Hills to probe the report on the six villages that resolved to associate with Assam.

This is the second case of Meghalaya villagers display of lack of faith in the Government of Meghalaya. The first case was a village in the same district which refused to co-operate in the Census operations carried out by Meghalya officials.

Following the report, Meghalaya Minister for Revenue R C Laloo has asked senior officers in Shillong and the Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi Hills to institute an inquiry and submit the findings at the earliest.

Laloo told a group of newsmen on Wednesday, “I have asked the officials to ignore all the official formalities and to submit the report at the earliest”. He also expressed concern at the developments in the villages located along the Assam-Meghalaya border.

Asserting that such a display of disloyalty will not be accepted, the Minister said, “What belongs to us should be ours”, adding, “We are trying to get back our areas taken by Assam through the Joint Chief Secretary Committee of border areas. Already, the Chief Secretaries of Assam and Meghalaya are engaged in the process of solving the vexed inter-State border issues involving the 12 areas of dispute.

Meanwhile, the disgruntled villagers were complaining about the lack of roads, power, water, schools and health centres.